The Soca Warriors will not have the services of France-based midfielder John Bostock for Friday’s vital 2018 World Cup qualifier against Guatemala or next Tuesday’s qualifier away to the United States.
Bostock, who plays professionally for RC Lens in Ligue 2, announced that he would not be linking up with the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team via his Twitter account this evening.
The talented midfielder is a former England National Under-17 captain but, after failing to make the grade in his homeland, agreed to switch allegiances to the birthplace of his father, John Bostock Senior, who grew up in Diego Martin before migrating to Britain as a child.
Bostock was due to make his international debut against St Vincent and the Grenadines on 25 March, only to be set back by an administrative error from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).
Now, he will not play against Guatemala or the United States either. Bostock released a statement at around 4pm on his Twitter account:
“Unfortunately due to the hold up of FIFA’s decision with my international clearance [and] the recent theft of my [British] passport, I’m not able to travel to [and] from Trinidad within the timescale to play against Guatemala [and] the US.
“Understandably I’m very disappointed to miss out on these crucial games for T&T but I wish the boys all the best and I’m confident we will qualify for the next round. I look forward to making my debut for the Soca Warriors in the near future.”
The news is believed to have surprised the Warriors technical staff, who expected word from FIFA today on Bostock’s international clearance.
Wired868 understands that Bostock has a Trinidad and Tobago passport but would have been unable to get a United States visa in time to travel for their game in Jacksonville, Florida on 6 September. Not that he could play anyway without FIFA clearance, which has not yet been granted.
To further complicate matters, his France work permit was supposedly lost with his British passport. According to sources, Bostock faced the potential issues in re-entering France if he left the country and tried to return without his work permit.
Last Friday, Hart stressed Bostock’s value to his squad for the upcoming matches, despite the fact that he has never played senior international football before.
The Warriors coach said Bostock could operate in several midfield roles and credited his attitude at training sessions in March.
“I think his mannerism and his approach is one that will allow him to settle with the team quite nicely,” Hart told Wired868. “He has a way about him of taking in what you want and trying to adapt as quickly as possible. He is not an antagonistic type of person…
“He can [operate as a deep-lying midfield playmaker]. He can also play the ‘10’. And he is very good at dead ball situations.”
The TTFA is yet to release a statement on Bostock but it now appears that the Warriors will have to continue without him.
Hart initially named a 24-man squad, just in case, and will not need to call up a replacement.
The Warriors will not be short of options in midfield as Kevan George has returned, after finding a new club, and joins fellow midfielders Khaleem Hyland, Andre Boucaud and Neveal Hackshaw.